Georgia Bulldogs Opposition Research, Week 9: And Down The Stretch They Come

Sizing up the Dawgs' remaining opponents in a make-or-break home stretch.

In stark contrast to their mood just three short weeks ago, the Dawgs head into the final third of the season thinking that they have a very real chance to end the season on a positive note -- and possibly even swipe a share of the SEC East title in the process.

FLORIDA
The Gators looked better on Saturday than they have all month long, which is to say they had a bye week. About the only interesting things that happened in Gainesville were that Urban Meyer a) played needlessly coy about whether Chris Rainey will see the field and b) let his lovable Kim Jong-Il side show by declaring that he doesn't "allow" bad plays to be called. As much fun as it is for Dawg fans to point and snicker at Urb's more sociopathic tendencies, though, the smarter ones know much better than to take anything about this game for granted after 20 years of frustration.
Worry level: Steady, and still high.

 

IDAHO STATE
Also had a bye. In case you were paying attention (you weren't), ISU is currently 1-6, with their lone win coming in the season opener against Montana-Western (an NAIA team that's currently 0-8). Mark Richt will be clearing the bench by halftime.
Worry level: So low it's invisible to the naked eye.

AUBURN
If you were conscious and upright at any point this past weekend, you probably saw the run that all but sewed up the Heisman Trophy for Tigers QB Cam Newton, as well as the final score (24-17 over LSU) that lifted AU to 8-0 and #1 in the BCS rankings. It's safe to say Auburn will be the toughest test the Dawgs face all season.
Worry level: Stratospheric.

GEORGIA TECH
The Yellow Jackets lost 27-13 to Clemson and didn't even look all that good doing it -- the Tigers ran out to a 17-0 lead and all but coasted from there, holding GT's triple-option rushing attack to only 242 yards (including a measly two yards on 15 carries for QB Josh Nesbitt). If Paul Johnson's offense hasn't been figured out by ACC defenses, it's doing an awfully good impression of one that has.
Worry level: Steadily dropping.

Looking back: The weekend didn't reflect particularly well on Georgia's strength of schedule, as the only notable win by a previous Dawg opponent was Arkansas' two-touchdown victory over Ole Miss, the Razorbacks' first win over their old coach Houston Nutt in three tries. Mississippi State squeaked past UAB, but "squeaked past" and "UAB" aren't words that any self-respecting SEC team should be putting anywhere near one another, and while South Carolina also won, it was over another past Georgia opponent, Vanderbilt, and it wasn't pretty. Elsewhere, Colorado gacked up a fourth-quarter lead and lost at home to a mediocre Texas Tech squad; the Buffs remain winless in Big 12 play, they haven't won a game since their close win over Georgia, and Dan Hawkins is so fired his firedness is visible from outer space. Tennessee played Alabama close in the first half but had their now-trademarked collapse in the second and fell 41-10. And perhaps most embarrassingly of all, Louisiana-Lafayette not only lost to a Western Kentucky team that came into the game nursing a 26-game, two-year losing streak, they gave up 54 points in the process. Early Monday morning, an Atlanta circuit judge issued an injunction barring Dawg fans from any further bragging about having dumped half-a-hundred on the Ragin' Cajuns in the season opener.

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